Main Article on Costochondritis Question: Please describe your experience with costochondritis. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Luv , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 10 In my experience, anybody who’s been dealing with costochondritis, it’s not a pleasant journey. I’ve been diagnosed with it one year ago. I too went to the emergency room with a sharp and dull, unpleasant, extreme pain on the left side and in the center of my chest. I thought to myself, oh my goodness, I’m having a heart attack. When I was there, they did all kinds of tests. Bloodwork, EKG checks, X-rays, etc. Everything came back fine and negative, and that it was costochondritis. I also have fibromyalgia. Comment from: Twinmum, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 04 I had pericarditis in 2017 and have suffered from costochondritis since. I’ve been to Accident and Emergency 18 times in 2018, and constantly told I was fine. I had it all; chest pain, racing heart, arm pain, breathlessness, dizzy spells, severe rib pain and sternum pain. I purchased the Backpod, it didn’t work at first, as I wasn’t using It properly. I watched some videos on YouTube and used it every night and got through a twin pregnancy pain free. I get lazy and don’t use it now, and it comes back; need to use it regularly. Comment from: Cordie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 03 I've had costochondritis for almost three years. I ended up in Accident and Emergency several times before getting the diagnosis. I had to go for ECG before it was confirmed. The pain is awful but what really scared me is when I'm lying down and the pain becomes so intense I stop breathing and have to gulp/gasp for air. I wonder if anyone else finds this happening. Comment from: Ann, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 27 I had gallbladder operation in June 2020, and been suffering since, it was a keyhole surgery. I have pain in my breasts, chest and armpits too, I'm in agony 24/7. Only found out 10 days ago it was costochondritis. I am taking 400 mg ibuprofen 3 times daily, but it is not helping much. Comment from: Maxxdarko, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 26 I feel your pain today. Yesterday I was painting some walls and suddenly my costochondritis flared up. My whole left chest swelled up and I couldn’t even lightly touch it without it hurting. I’m okay today, the pain is dull but I get moments of numbness, and then my anxiety is triggered. Resting or lying down is still the worse, but I know in a few days of real rest and not moving around it’ll get better; I hope. Good luck to us all, this chest inflammation is the worst. Comment from: Chris, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 06 I wonder if anyone has tried using a rib belt for costochondritis with good results. Comment from: Nancy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 03 I have fluttering in between my ribs from costochondritis, and stomach pain comes and goes. I cry all the time, depression and anxiety are bad. I don’t know what to do, no quality of life. Comment from: LisaL, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 23 I've been suffering from costochondritis since 1988 and didn't have too many flare-ups until my 50s. Now entering my 60s, I seem to get costochondritis flare-ups 2-3 times a year. I've noticed if I do any strenuous upper body exercise, that will aggravate it and bring it on quickly. My symptoms are generally pain that starts in the sternum and then moves to the upper back. Now I am experiencing heart burn or feeling like a burning lump near the lower esophagus. Just taking ibuprofen. Comment from: Roo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 21 I think I may have costochondritis. I have pain in the sternum all the time, and pain in my left ribs. When the pain subsides, just pressing on the area brings it back again. Sometimes if I'm sitting doing nothing, it comes on suddenly and I'm not sure if it's inside (heart) or outside (ribs). It also spreads to the shoulders on both sides, ribs on both sides, and pain radiating through to the back. All I can take is paracetamol which may take the edge off it. Because of heart and age I am not allowed take ibuprofen. Also pain goes down the muscles on my sides. Comment from: Reca, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 20 I am sure that what I am experiencing is costochondritis as the pain has never ceased since 2012. It is located at the left center of the chest and according to the gastrointestinal doctor, it is due to a hiatal hernia. I am wondering if that is possible. SLIDESHOW What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow Comment from: Lindsey, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 19 I’ve suffered from costochondritis for 9 years, having been diagnosed in my 20s. I’ve noticed coffee, stressful situation and heavy lifting cause major flare ups. When my chest and sternum hurt so bad that it’s all the way through to my back. It always makes me feel like I have lung cancer or a heart attack. Yoga, deep breathing and meditation has been very helpful. Comment from: Kevisher, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 16 I’ve been having chest pain from costochondritis since April 2020. I’ve done several tests like x-ray, blood tests, ECG, arthritis, lipid profile, and all of them came out normal. That’s when doctor examined me and said it was sternal chondritis. The pain keeps changing. Sometimes it is a sharp pain in the breast, and sometimes a stabbing pain on both sides of the chest. I am so anxious about all this. I realized massaging with hot water reduces pain. I just hope all this comes to an end soon. Comment from: Ck, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 16 I have been diagnosed with costochondritis 3 years ago. It comes and goes, but every time it's like I'm having a heart attack... the many times I try to breathe I still go into a panic attack; it’s horrible. I wake about 5 mornings a week with pain in my upper back radiating down my spine between my lungs. All tests are normal. The tiredness is horrendous… my doctor also says it comes on with stress. My symptoms are sore back and chest, and shooting pains in my arms, legs and under the armpits. Good luck everyone. Comment from: Teddy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 30 I've had costochondritis for 3 years now, horrendous. Sometimes I just stretch to a higher cupboard and that's it, or polish a table, gone again. I had physiotherapy for 7 months. I also have arthritis and fibromyalgia. I get really sore ribs, especially along the breastbone all the way round, can’t wear a bra, hurts too much, and can’t bear touching that area. Flare ups are awful. Thoughts and love with anyone who has this. Comment from: Pamp, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 29 I haven’t been officially diagnosed but I think I have costochondritis. I had an episode again last night, pain under left breast that radiates to my back under the left shoulder blade. It is severe and it spasms. It stops for a bit and then starts back. It causes pain up into my neck and throat. If I sit up it’s a little better and if I take deep breaths it helps. I have osteoporosis and was diagnosed years ago with rheumatoid arthritis which I guess could be factors. I can’t take aspirin so not sure what to do. Comment from: Danielle , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 29 I have had costochondritis for around 3 years. It started with pain in my left shoulder blade, then tenderness in my left breast and left of sternum. No apparent trigger (maybe stress). I get sharp pains on the left of my sternum and down my left arm sometimes. Feels like I have a trapped nerve in my shoulder blades, sometimes I have tingling in my fingers. It's very scary. I think I may have Tietze’s syndrome rather than costochondritis. I take anti-inflammatory drugs. Comment from: Buck, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 24 My costochondritis pain comes and goes out of nowhere. Nothing really triggers it, it just comes when it wants to. Some flare ups are worse than others. I’ve had it for 4 plus months now and assume I’m going to have it for life. I also get left arm pain when it flares up and was just wondering if anyone else gets that symptom. I’ve been to the cardiologist and have had an EKG and echocardiogram both of which came back clear. Comment from: KayMoon, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18 I have not been diagnosed with costochondritis but it is the only thing that explains the pain I have been experiencing. I've been having the symptoms for 2 years. Deep pain on my left side, about 2 inches above my breast, stabbing, tingling, aching that sometimes radiates up into my neck and feels like my skin is stiffening inside. It's so weird. I went to the Veterans Affairs, they sent me to the hospital, and no diagnosis. The doctors won't listen to me. People treat me like I'm a hypochondriac. Comment from: overlooked, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 17 I believe I have costochondritis. I originally had a really bad stomach bug 2 months ago which resulted in 2 different emergency room trips, each where I had chest x-rays done and EKGs, with normal test results. The pain becomes so uncomfortable at night when I lie down as it’s time for me to sleep. I’ve seen my primary care physician at least 3 times and I keep being dismissed because they think it’s just anxiety. The pain has lasted for 2 months now, even when I am not stressed out. It also spreads to my left arm. QUESTION The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer Comment from: Jason, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 17 I’ve had costochondritis for about 4 years now, never had it go away yet. The only thing that helps the pain is lying flat. I got a Backpod but it is not helping yet. I have psoriatic arthritis and maybe psoriatic ankylosing spondylitis as my vertebrae are compressed together, which my doctors think is likely causing the costochondritis. I am on blood pressure medicines, so cannot use NSAIDs unfortunately. I was given diclofenac gel which may help some, but not me. The doctor will do steroid injections in the rib hinges so that’s the next plan. Comment from: Beronica, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 08 Like many others my costochondritis pain initially worried me of a heart problem. The pain radiates to my arms many times. Though they never did stress tests, and I have arrhythmias, I found out about rib arthritis when a physical therapist I was seeing for my neck and back brought it up. I was also told I had several neck discs protruding but nothing I can do but exercises for now. The pain is the worst waking up. Many times it’s been almost impossible to get out of bed unassisted. Being 31 no doctor cares. Comment from: Nooz, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 01 I, all of a sudden, started hyperventilating on the 9th of March 2020. Then a very bad attack of shortness of breath came on me. I've never experienced hyperventilation before. I thought I was dying. This has stayed for 2 weeks. Then I had a fever that stayed for 6 weeks, without feeling very ill, in March. But hyperventilation and chest pain occurred also with the costochondritis. Shortness of breath has been there ever since. My COVID 19 test was negative. I've never had hyperventilation before. And I can't catch my breath and need breathing exercise the entire day to get through. I'm convinced this is from COVID. I have hair loss as well. Comment from: Stefandthecity, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 25 I share the same costochondritis symptoms as most of you and can’t help but notice the alarming number of us diagnosed with costochondritis during the COVID-19 outbreak. I hope this is just a coincidence. I went to the emergency room in May with chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness. I basically felt like I was dying or having a heart attack, only for them to give me every test you can imagine; x-rays, EKG, blood work, etc., and be diagnosed with costochondritis. It’s months and it’s still here, but gets much worse with my anxiety and stress. Comment from: CyndiMom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 25 Wonder if anyone experiences severe pain from costochondritis while sitting. I have this awful pain on my left side right under the ribs and when I stand or lie down, it does not hurt. But when I sit down it’s almost unbearable. This is all new to me and I thought I had a kidney problem but have been told it is most likely costochondritis. I had never heard of it before. Comment from: Rose2020, 25-34 (Caregiver) Published: August 17 Some of our stories sound very familiar. I have also been diagnosed with costochondritis. My upper chest and back pain came on suddenly and was an aching dull feeling, kind of like a cramp, from my middle chest straight through to my back. I work in the hospital on the COVID rule out floor so I have high exposure risk, however I was tested a week before and was negative. I have heart issues so I believed it was a heart attack but all tests were fine. I really have a feeling this is from COVID. Tests are flawed. Comment from: Mitchie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 13 My costochondritis flare ups usually come after a bad bout of asthma. This time I haven't had an asthma attack but perhaps it's this awful heatwave or my new exercise routine (or both) that has/have caused the costochondritis. There's a stabbing pain on the left side of my chest, a constant band of tightness around my chest and back, and a sort of heaviness on the ribs right under my breasts. Sometimes I feel a kind of flutter too in my chest. I take painkillers, cortisone and rest. Good luck to us all! Comment from: Cowanna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 11 I was diagnosed with costochondritis, which is an inflammation of chest muscles and sternum, back in March 2020. It has been a long journey. I have had several EKGs, echocardiogram and nuclear stress tests, which all came back clear. I still have chest pain, and now it has created anxiety because I still feel like something more is going on. This has caused my blood pressure to rise, which has created anxiety as I have never had to deal with any health issues prior to this. Comment from: Kim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 10 I was diagnosed with costochondritis last week after 6 weeks of agonizing chest pain. Initially I thought I was having a heart attack which led to many anxiety problems. I was given painkillers, went to Accident and Emergency as the pain was so severe one morning, and later on was given more painkillers. Thankfully I came across YouTube videos showing stretches to open up my chest wall and although I’m not completely pain free, I am significantly better and can go about my day with only a morning ibuprofen. Comment from: Tetter3plr , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 05 I have been suffering with chronic costochondritis since 2017. It comes and goes, like a flare up. It's painful sometimes to the touch, when sneezing or taking a deep breath. I have been to many doctors, had many tests, and still nothing but being told to take Motrin. Comment from: Percy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 29 I have the exact same costochondritis symptoms! All of it. Kind of reassuring to hear I’m not alone, but not a club one would choose to belong to. Too much lifting aggravates it. I’m not good at being idle and am trying to move right now as well. I think the COVID stress adds to it for sure. I didn’t realize when I was diagnosed how debilitating it can be. Thank you for sharing. Comment from: eric c. i., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 28 I got costochondritis 15 years ago, and it was a pain on my right side chest lowest rib. I went to my doctor and he said it might be costochondritis, so he gave me a list of requests for lab procedures, x-ray and ultrasound. Everything was good, so costochondritis was the final diagnosis. It’s been on and off the following years, now it is back, been there since before the COVID and has stayed. It’s been almost 7 months now and it is still there, getting stronger every month. Comment from: Nat, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 28 I got costochondritis while I was pregnant nearly three years ago. This condition caused depression and huge anxiety as I thought of the worst. It took two years to get a diagnosis after two trips to Accident and Emergency, blood tests and an x-ray. The explanation of what it is helped a little, as I know I won't die. But the pain is simply horrible. I only have it on my left side. The general physician was very rude to me as I was there several times trying to get help before the diagnosis. I feel for you all. Comment from: EDDIE POPE, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: July 21 I have had costochondritis for a about 10 years. It has bothered me a lot. I also suffer from osteoarthritis of the spine which my doctor said was the cause of my costochondritis, arthritis of the chest bone. Comment from: Caz, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 20 I have been suffering with costochondritis for about a year now, and this has been very hard psychically and mentally, a horrible experience not knowing if this pain will ever disappear. The pain started in the middle of my chest and has now spread to the whole right side of my body. Like most of you, I have had no luck in finding ways that help the pain, so I came looking for people who have experienced this in the hope I would find something. Frustrating to see we’re all in the same boat. Comment from: Matt, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: July 17 I have had costochondritis for nine months from moving an extremely heavy table. It seems to have gotten worse and more widespread across the chest than it was early on. It is not profoundly painful but it is there every day and the constant twinges freak me out and get my anxiety going all the time. I sympathize with all of those who have this maddening condition. Comment from: Toni C, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 16 I have lived with costochondritis for 30 years. I am now 65 and it has gotten progressively worse. I awaken by about 4:00 a.m. with terrible pain in my upper diaphragm and this pain just keeps getting worse till I try and prop myself up or just get out of bed. Upon getting out of bed it can take half hour to an hour for the pain to subside. I also have pain when trying to take a deep breath. It’s terrible to have to live with this and I fear it’s just getting worse with activities and age. Comment from: Birdie , 55-64 (Patient) Published: July 16 I have severe pain from costochondritis under my right breast that radiates to my back. It hurts so very much at this time. Norco doesn’t help. Comment from: Feelingbetter, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 14 I have been suffering from costochondritis for a while. It can get very sore when breathing deeply, it's sometimes like you're having a heart attack. I stumbled upon something that seems to be working - supplementing collagen. Please fellow sufferers, try 2.5 to 5 grams a day and let this forum know if you notice the difference in 3 or 4 weeks, I certainly do! I can't give you the name of the brand I use, that would be advertising, I can only say it's not a very expensive one. Comment from: JuneD, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 13 I've had costochondritis for the past 4 years. It came suddenly and I didn't find out what it was until 6 months later. The pain comes in all forms; tightness, sharpness, and aches. I have had little to no help resolving it and have just lived with it all this time. I found swimming helps, and gradual exercising. I rarely don't feel pressure across my chest, and a lot of the time my chest is swollen. I experience shortness of breath and 'heart racing' frequently, and drinking water helps relieve it a bit. Comment from: Anxious Annie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 08 It has been said I have possible costochondritis. Like most, I made a trip to Accident and Emergency (A and E) with the feeling of a heart attack. Now 6 weeks on, I have a pain in my back, left shoulder blade skin, very sensitive, no rash, but unbearable pain around that area. Still occasionally I feel like a weight is on my chest and my lower 4 ribs on the left hand side are still swollen, yet reduced with naproxen. I have not been examined by a doctor yet, only the routine checks completed in A and E for heart, due to COVID. Wonder if anyone had similar symptoms. Comment from: LosingHope, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 07 I was diagnosed with costochondritis last week. It is a sharp stabbing pain in my chest on both sides that radiates to my back, down into my breasts, and in my arms. Yesterday I experienced a death in the family, and when I woke up this morning the stabbing pain had spread to my wrists, abdomen, hips, and upper legs. I'm in so much pain, I feel like I can't even function. I've been called a drug seeker and a drug addict for trying to figure out this diagnosis. Comment from: Mw , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 07 I’m 32 years old and my doctor told me I had costochondritis when I went in complaining about chest pain. This was about 8 years ago. I get frequent flare ups but have learned to live with them. I try to stay away from gluten and other inflammatory foods because I’ve noticed they can cause the pain sometimes. I just read that it can be triggered during times of emotional stress as well. I definitely notice flare ups when I’m stressed or rundown. Comment from: Tee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 30 I was recently diagnosed with costochondritis as well as fibromyalgia. I have been having this pain almost 2 months now, and it has been horrible! It started with middle upper back pain in one spot next to the spine, then my shoulder, right breast and chest hurt. The breast pain is terrible. There is also intermittent sternum pain. Wonder if it takes a while for the naproxen to work and what else works. Comment from: Costo , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 30 I also have new costochondritis symptoms (my first symptoms in the chest do not exist anymore). Now I have widespread pain in my back and pelvis. I also have other new symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, sweating, and fatigue. My big question is if costochondritis will turn to fibromyalgia. Comment from: Rachel, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I hate it when costochondritis is underestimated! It nearly killed me. While lying in bed, my breathing was suddenly completely plugged. I had swelling, inflammation, and lumps in the ribs covering the lungs. I thrust a 1 1/2' dowel into my chest where the ribs come together and dragged it downward. After a few times, I could breathe a tiny bit. Couple more minutes and I would have passed out and died. Plus costochondritis pain for me is easily a 65 when it spasms! Very serious disease. Comment from: Nancy , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I believe I have costochondritis, though haven’t been actually diagnosed. I am a 34 years old woman. I have pain in the left side of my chest, shortness of breath, cramping feeling under my left armpit that travels to my wrist, and back pain. It hurts when I touch or breathe deep. I have gone to the emergency room about 5 times thinking it is a heart attack. Test comes out normal and they tell me it is due to my rheumatoid arthritis. I have a fear that it is my heart, even if all tests come out normal. I also have heart anxiety that just triggers my thoughts. Comment from: KPB, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I’ve had costochondritis for 3 years now. It started in my collar bone, lasted 2 months then went away. I then got the same the following year. It got worse due to my brother picking me up in a bear hug. Now I have it constantly. I can’t wear underwired bras. I have to sleep with a pillow to support my neck and shoulder. The only thing that takes it away it is KCR (kinetic chain release) treatment. It’s amazing. I also have arthritis in my hips and it helps with that too. Hopes this helps. Comment from: Jmc117, 35-44 (Patient) Published: June 19 I’ve had costochondritis for three months. I am wondering if it’s a result of a COVID-19 or just asthma. I haven’t had asthma in years but started having shortness of breath before being diagnosed with costochondritis by Urgent Care. I took a COVID test and it was negative, but there are so many false negatives I don’t feel sure it negative. I can breathe much better now, but still feel very sore in my chest and back. I’m also tired and my heart rate seems higher than it used to be. I just want to feel better. Comment from: janet, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 19 I have been suffering pain from costochondritis in the right side of my rib, back and front, for many years, and never been given any proper help. I have only ever been given prescription for anti-inflammatory medications that I cannot tolerate, so I have just suffered so long, and only been able to take paracetamol for pain and use hot and cold therapy. I now have a new symptom of right arm pain and hand pain, and unable to make a fist. I wonder if this is related or something new. Comment from: Indika, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 16 I had a pain in my chest and left breast for the last 8 months. Ultra sound and chest x-rays ruled out tumors and other serious conditions, and the last CT scan suggested it is costochondritis caused by osteoarthritis. The pain is severe and feels like a heart attack. The pain is complex, at different times it is sharp, dull, burning, stabbing, pulling, tight, tingling, etc. Walking helps in reducing the pain but chest or arms or bending exercise worsens it. I had had a surgery 10 months ago and was recovering when I had it first. Comment from: Donna , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12 I have been diagnosed with costochondritis. Right at the beginning of COVID, so a worrying time and I didn't know what was causing my symptoms of tight chest, sharp pain and burning feeling in my back. Now the sharp pain has subsided a lot but I suffer from a really uncomfortable feeling in my back (upper middle) like I've been winded and still have a tightness in my chest. Also my heart races a lot; not sure if it is linked to costochondritis. Comment from: Go healthy, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: June 10 I was diagnosed with costochondritis 3 months back. I had chest pain, back pain and shortness of breath sometimes, which gets aggravated after some strenuous tasks. I had my ECG done which shows normal, but still I have anxiety issues and fatigue which I developed due to this condition. Anti-inflammatory tablets are nearly of no use but ice packs and certain exercises help. Comment from: Hayley, 35-44 (Caregiver) Published: June 10 Like most of you when my costochondritis came on I thought it was heart problems and went to Accident and Emergency (A and E). But it's been almost three years now, and after three trips to A and E and trips to doctors, I've finally realized there is nothing they can do. As the doctors are so fed up with trying, I am on heat pads that really help, pain killers and now on a back pod. I read a lot on the web and watch YouTube videos that have helped too. It's a horrible painful condition, and I hope for a miracle drug one day. Comment from: SK, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 04 I've had costochondritis for about 2 months now, but it started off as chest tightness, mostly around the sternum, daily for 3 to 4 hours. I developed anxiety because I thought it was a symptom of COVID-19. Once I started getting sharp pains, I went to the hospital but my heart was fine. I had an x-ray, CT scan and heart tests done but all came back normal. My symptoms were sharp, dull pain or pressure especially around the breastbone area. I also had neck and& shoulder tightness along with rib soreness and sharp rib pain. Comment from: Costo , 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 04 Two years ago costochondritis was diagnosed. This stabbing pain comes and goes but the fatigue stays all the time, impossible to sleep without medication. I have also excessive sweating and extreme fatigue. Now my feeling is costochondritis is progressively leaving me, I have less pain and I can sleep without medication. Wonder if others found their pain had disappeared suddenly or diminished during 2 or 3 months‘ time before leaving their body definitely. Also wondering if others also feel tired all the time. Comment from: Get Healthy,Go Vegan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 29 I was diagnosed with costochondritis a couple months ago. I also have Crohn’s and colitis. I was told I would need lifelong infusions to get back into remission and stay that way. The costochondritis might’ve been part of that, or celiac disease. I was tested for celiac and was negative. I refused infusions and started a whole-foods, plant-based diet. Got into remission in about 8 weeks. Unfortunately, my costochondritis still exists. Symptoms get better if I don’t strain my upper body, do heavy lifting, and rest. Comment from: TKH, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 22 I developed costochondritis from an unknown virus and it’s been awful. Heavy pressure, feeling like it’s hard to breathe, aching, burning sensations as well as feeling fatigued and lightheaded. It’s been a very anxious experience. I’ve had it for over 2 months now and just wish it would hurry up and heal already. Wishing everyone a quick recovery, it’s such a horrible thing. Comment from: Hannahlincs, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 19 I’ve been having costochondritis flare ups for about 4 or 5 years now. Probably have about 3-5 flare ups a year, with at least 2 of these bad enough to send me to Accident and Emergency. Every time it feels like a heart attack, medication barely helps and I am in agony until it ends. However I am grateful my flare ups are infrequent and short. Comment from: Diana P, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 19 I've had this costochondritis pain between my ribs for a while now, and it restricts my breathing. I also can't empty my bowels properly, I have to use an inhaler sometimes when eating. Comment from: Maxie , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 07 I am not even sure if this is costochondritis, but listening to you all, it does sound like it is. I have excruciating pain on the left side by my ribs. I thought I was having a heart attack until I was informed that, because what I have hurts to touch, it’s not a heart attack. So glad I could read all your stories. Comment from: KK, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 05 My costochondritis symptoms aren’t as bad as some people, but still I have constant pain. Wearing a bra hurts all around the ribs, but if I don’t wear one, ribs hurt in front. Back hurts even though I am doing physical therapy. All this started after bad coughing for several weeks from allergies. I try ice and heat. Nothing lasts. Very frustrating. Comment from: Mark, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 23 I've had costochondritis for almost a year now. I absolutely hate it and wish this didn't even exist. I have seen a number of different specialists such as orthopedist, neurosurgeon, rheumatologist and still currently receiving physiotherapy and osteopathy treatments. I've had very little improvement. I still have difficulty breathing fully and my chest always feels tight and heavy. I'm hoping to try pure CBD oil soon or peptides, wonder if anyone has used these before. I'm getting so desperate for help. Comment from: RvdnLB, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 21 I went to the emergency room in 2005, with stabbing pain in my chest, felt like heart attack. I have been living with costochondritis since, now 2020. A massage therapist, for 3 years, every 2 weeks, helped me identify all hot spots and how much activity and stretching I can tolerate. When I have bad inflammation and swelling, I ice up all day and night, especially just before sleeping. Good news is, it won't kill me, bad news is, I'm always tired. Meditation and prayer are my life savers. Biggest thing is to just accept the limitations that come with this. Comment from: Syasa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 21 I have shortness of breath and discomfort in my chest since I was 14. I was diagnosed with costochondritis when I was 17, with pain attack in my chest like being squeezed, and a sharp needle pain. My doctor suspected it was costochondritis. My rib had a small swelling. Now I am 28 but still the pain comes and goes. Coughing because of seasonal flu or allergy in the long term, stress, exercise like running, jumping or focus on chest building are absolutely not ideal. I can do these, but have to have a limit, and take medicine. Comment from: zoed, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 24 Wonder if anyone has any swelling in their rib joints from costochondritis. You can't notice it from the surface but where it hurts it feels swollen, almost as if the part of my rib near my sternum is poking out. This is the case for the top 3 ribs. When I move in certain positions it aches in these places and takes my breath away sometimes. Comment from: Rosita, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24 I started having shortness of breath on March 4th, 2020, chest pain, and upper back pain right behind my lungs. Feels like pressure on the middle bone in your chest which gives me more anxiety and panic. Since the coronavirus, I started to have more anxiety so I went to the hospital. After x-ray and EKG they told me I have costochondritis and anxiety from news makes it worse. They gave ibuprofen 600, but medication didn’t help. My family doctor said the same thing but he also gave an asthma inhaler. I hope this goes away quickly otherwise I go crazy of thinking that I might have other problems. Comment from: Bel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 20 I've had costochondritis for 3 years now, though it took about a year and a half to be diagnosed. Honestly, I thought I had pneumonia at first. It was an uncomfortable feeling like when you've had an intense cough for a long time and your chest hurts. Then there is the more severe pain when it feels like being stabbed. Sleeping is difficult and I can't lie flat because that always aggregates it. Comment from: Jenforte99, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 18 Almost 4 years ago I had a stomach bug, I am guessing. Well, after that I started having pains. I had a complete work up done and the gastroenterologist told me it is costochondritis. Now again except with the vomiting I am having pain all down my right side, the same thing. I had ultrasound and CT scan and everything is fine on that. I have lost 20 lb. as I am scared to eat because I keep thinking it is still something else. Last time it was only up in my chest area this time it is all over my body. Comment from: Nicole , 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 17 I was finally diagnosed with costochondritis after 5 months of struggling to take a deep breath and having a discomfort in my left hand side rib cage and tenderness on my breast bone. They put me on 500 mg naproxen which has only made my symptoms 10 times worse. I now get inflammation both sides of my chest wall, stabbing pains, radiation of pain, numbness, and tingling down both arms. This is all of the time, as well as feeling fatigued. I ordered a Backpod which is supposed to be good, so fingers crossed. Comment from: Suze65, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 17 I have been dealing with costochondritis for almost 5 years. Like many of you, I’ve been in the emergency room several times. Many doctor visits and so much money spent. In October my chiropractor told me this is all coming from my thoracic spine and he wanted me to go get x-rays. And he was right. I am seeing a chiropractor now, who said he can help me. It’s been a long road, but I am glad to find a chiropractor that knows how to deal with this. So, my help words to you is to find a chiropractor that is experienced in this. Good luck. Comment from: Meggamay , 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 12 I have been suffering costochondritis for several years. It's the most excruciating and annoying pain ever, child birth doesn’t come close. I had a recent attack whilst having a dry cough, it took me by surprise. I had no pre-warning so I decided go out for the day. I walked inside a large shop store, then bang, it hit me. I just couldn't move an inch. It just attacked me in every direction possible and scared my daughter. I was in bed 3 days unable to move. It haunts me. Comment from: Tessa458, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 11 I have been suffering with costochondritis for over 2 years. I also was told I had cartilage problems by my sternum. I haven't been able to return to work, the pain is so severe. It comes and goes even without any activity. I get pain from what seems like everywhere. I have pain in my sternum that wraps around to the spine, throughout my chest. I get sick from most medicines that doctors give me. So that completely limits me for pain relief. Wonder if anyone else is not able to work because of this. Comment from: Jillyt , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 06 I’m a 36 year old female and was diagnosed with costochondritis about 6 years ago. Since then I’ve had flare ups approximately 2 times a year. This week it hit me hard. No sleeping on the back (or any type of position really), extreme pain in my chest, back, and ribs. I too have had multiple ECGs and all clear. It hurts to breathe sometimes and pressing down onto my sternum is torture. It’s quite stressful. I’ve been taking naproxen which helps for a bit, then it comes back. Would love to know the cause of this. Comment from: Meggamay, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 03 I'm so glad I'm not on my own. I was out with my daughter yesterday and had what I can only describe as the most excruciating spasms. I have had costochondritis for a few years but only recently been told what it is after recent MRI, x-ray and blood tests. It scared my daughter as she had never seen me so badly with it. She asked for help, got me a wheel chair, and took me home. I have phoned in work sick today and have not moved from my bed, sleeping most of the day. It's just getting me down. Comment from: BubbaFromLA, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 03 I am A 31 year old male, and I’ve been living with costochondritis for a little over a year now. When it first started I thought I was having a heart attack. Countless doctors and tests show my heart is fine, and I am still dealing with the pain. I take Celebrex 3 to 4 times a day to help with the pain, Xanax and Zoloft to deal with the anxiety it brings. Hope it gets better soon. Comment from: Nancy A., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 27 Costochondritis can last a life time. I was diagnosed at 19 after working out. I've had stress test, EKG, heart thallium test and other tests (no, I'm not having a heart attack) that revealed this is what this pain is and I am now 59 years old - yes, that's 40 years of this pain. Pain that you never know if it's a heart attack or simply this. Wonder why I have anxiety? I have slept in a chair for many years as lying down flat hurts. Ibuprofen is my friend although never really takes all the pain away. Comment from: Brandi, 45-54 (Patient) Published: February 24 I was diagnosed with costochondritis last night after my primary care physician sent me to the emergency room (ER). The pain was so bad and I was so scared. I have to reposition myself frequently because of the pain. My ER doctor said the lining inside the ribs and surrounding the lungs are the most sensitive in the body; the second is the covering of bone. He said that means the pain is much greater than a bone break. He continued to say that it does mimic a heart attack in women especially because of the back pain it causes in both diagnoses. Comment from: MonkS-K, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 21 Well, I can relate to so many of you, I was diagnosed with costochondritis in November of 2005. I also thought I had a heart attack, it was like someone stabbed me with an ice pick in my heart. Not till many years later I realized that the female doctor at emergency called it right away and said it was costochondritis. I have been living with it ever since and at first the prevailing wisdom was to rest up until it got better so I got stuck in my chair; not good. It took me many years to find acceptance for my condition. Comment from: Annamae, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 12 I have osteoarthritis, also rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and Sjogren’s syndrome. I get completely stuck when bending down. Last week in bed the pain was so bad in my rib cage I was violently sick with it. I think I have costochondritis as well. I have prescription for naproxen painkillers from the doctor. The worst rib pain is trying to get into bed, the pain is unbearable. Comment from: Tam, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 11 I was given glyceryl trinitrate pump spray for under the tongue as I've had a lot of the costochondritis symptoms you guys have, and it was instant relief. Comment from: Fay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 10 I was diagnosed with costochondritis when I started going through menopause. Seemingly common in menopausal women. Had a few trips to the hospital with suspected heart attack but thankfully not. It's always on your mind though, could it be this time. I probably have a couple of attacks a year now but always feel a niggle. Starts in upper chest then spreads to shoulder, arm, and culminating in a bad headache. Makes me feel so tired and ill for a few days. Rest, hot water bottle on the sore area, and ibuprofen help. Comment from: Cali, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 04 I was just diagnosed with costochondritis which first occurred 1.5 months ago after a shoulder capsulitis diagnosis. The capsulitis is now healed from physical therapy, and I assumed soreness from that was the cause of my costochondritis. Tests were run, complete blood tests and EKG, ruling out other possible causes. I recently started using the Backpod which I hope helps as much as the reviews say. I'm on NSAIDs 6 days now, which really have not helped much and I wonder how long this last! Comment from: KC, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 28 It's just so stressful how costochondritis always feels like heart problems and I can't fully convince myself it's not. EKG was normal, nothing found in CT scan or x-ray. But I went to a cardiologist and backed down on doing additional tests when the doctor said it's just this. Which I hope it is but now I really regret not testing extensively to be 100 percent sure, because I have panic attacks and the anxiety is so bad. It keeps me from sleeping many nights. Comment from: ACat, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 22 I find this all very interesting. I have been struggling with these same symptoms of costochondritis for almost two years. The pain in my chest is stabbing and hot. It feels as if a hot poker was inserted into my sternum. MRI, x-ray, CT scan, bone scan and PET scan only showed uptake in my sternum, and nothing they can do except pain management. One interesting similarity I read was laparoscopy surgery. Mine started after I had my gallbladder out. The connection of my ribs feel dislocated. Comment from: Baz, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 22 I was diagnosed with costochondritis about two years ago. I had a severe ache in my chest which had been going on for over a week. I continued running my five miles a day so didn’t think it was my heart. It seems to come and go but more prominent in the damp cold weather. It gets worse after chopping loads and even though I know what it is I still get quite anxious. Comment from: Amber321 , 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 16 I was diagnosed with costochondritis in August 2019. Since then I’ve been to multiple doctors, including a cardiologist. I’ve had 3 EKGs and a stress test, all normal. I’ve been given Celebrex for the pain. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. I live with constant anxiety, because my symptoms are so similar to having a heart attack. I’ve started going to a chiropractor and taking turmeric. It’s helping, but I still have flare ups. I have a toddler so I can’t really rest the area and let it heal. Comment from: Costo7, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 31 I have had 3 costochondritis attacks this year. The first took me to the emergency room. Heart issues were eliminated. Still, the head of a heart practice said pericarditis. Wrong. My latest was two weeks ago. Since then I lie on the bed all day with a heating pad and an ice pack. Higher doses of ibuprofen help, but I don’t know if they will actually resolve things. Comment from: Ehausted, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 31 I'm glad I found this site on costochondritis. I went to the emergency room and wasn’t sure if I was having a heart attack, asthma attack, GERD or pneumonia. I have breast bone pain and burning, hot and cold sweats, and wanting rest that seems to never come. I am exhausted. Comment from: JODY, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 03 Currently I am suffering from costochondritis. Absolutely horrendous, hurts to even breathe. I was prescribed naproxen and codeine, but these do not even touch it. I cannot get comfortable in any position. Night time is dreadful. It even hurts to wear a sports bra, can’t even put my arm against the painful area. I am a fibromyalgia sufferer, and am used to coping with pain but this is on another level entirely. Comment from: Victoria, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 26 Two years ago I bent down to pick up the recycling box, my back went, and I could not move. Ever since I have had costochondritis, with tightening in my rib cage. I can’t wear a bra as it is too uncomfortable. It hurts me all the time, if I walk without someone supporting me; the pain is chronic. Comment from: K, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 22 I have had sternum pain for about 3 months now. Usual ECG, blood work, etc., all clear. My costochondritis has triggered bad anxiety and panic attacks. I am a self-employed stone mason so very little time to rest it. The stress triggered bad palpitations for about two weeks until I managed to get a handle on it. The pain is still there and I feel like being stuck in a vicious circle of pain and anxiety. Doctors are not much use and I am looking into herbal alternatives! Comment from: Debbie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 21 I am on my 3rd bout of costochondritis this year, currently waiting on a doctor's appointment today but with a nurse as no doctors are available. First of all I'm angry that a patient with chest and back pain is not a priority and secondly how will a nurse make a diagnosis! The anxiety this is causing me is tenfold and very scary. The pain is radiating through my back and I feel my lungs are inflamed. My mind is all over the place with constant worry about what exactly is going on inside my body. Comment from: Yogalover, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 12 I was diagnosed with this horrible but relatively unknown condition a few years ago after my cat stood on my left rib whilst I was lying in bed and I nearly sent the poor unsuspecting animal flying! I am an active 53 year old who loves walking, cycling and yoga but now often find my costochondritis flares up and renders me unable to do even the simplest of activities - even twisting to put my left arm in a sleeve is a painful experience. The symptoms are scary and the pain seems to be ceaseless. Comment from: Joeyxds, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 12 Thank goodness I found this forum! I have been dealing with this costochondritis for 3 years now. It’s had me terrified I was having a heart attack. I have been actually diagnosed with this disease and I am tired of it. My chest flutters and hurts, my back aches when I do something as simple as sweep the floor. I am just glad I am not alone in this everyday battle. Comment from: Lj, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 06 I was diagnosed with costochondritis. I was given a type of steroid for inflammation. It helped for about a week and the pain has come back in full force. Last night I coughed and a sudden pop happened under my right breast (where I’ve been having pain). Now I can’t blow my nose or even use the bathroom without having severe pain. I can feel twitching like spasms. Wonder if anyone else has experienced this. Getting a doctor’s appointment is months out. Emergency room is at least a 10 hour wait. The pain is real. Comment from: Carol, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 17 I have had inflammation of my costochondritis since 0400 today, and after 4 doses of analgesia I have attempted to lie in bed. The pain is excruciating and I can't take a deep breath. I could quite easily cry as I am so tired due to jetlag which I haven't been able to recover from yet. I can just about cope standing but I can't do that all night. Comment from: Travis, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 15 I got costochondritis at the age of 21. I got it from overuse from playing tennis. It filled my life with anxiety. It took six months for the pain to go away. Now, if I overdo it with chest exercises or running, it hurts for a few days. But it will go away. Don't let it define you. Comment from: Fuyuko, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15 Costochondritis is an affliction made worse by coughing, and in my case asthma medicines for some reason. What helps for me, is Aspercreme, Tylenol, heating pad, and rest. It can last months. In fact, one thing that aggravates it is mammograms. So I will likely be canceling mine. It is excruciating to be manhandled when I have a flare. Comment from: Jerimie , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08 I have chest pains and back pains, and went to the emergency room. They did many tests. When I twist it hurts, I have muscle pains and all the above symptoms of costochondritis and there's nothing I can do about it. You're not alone, it hurts. Comment from: Tommy, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 02 I've had costochondritis for over ten years now. Most of the time it is manageable with over the counter NSAIDs and Co-codamol. Every now and then it flares up however, and I've seen no pattern to it. The pain is severe and I'm bed ridden for about a week. The only thing that touches it is tramadol and steroids, which I'm not keen on taking. About a year ago I tried glucosamine and chondroitin tablets. They worked. Now when I feel an onset coming I start taking them and it seems to dissipate the attack.